NewsTeam Handball News

Paris Bound: Three USA National Team Athletes Selected to Participate in IHF Beach Handball Showcase This Summer

by Matthew Collins

With the Eiffel Tower in the background, Beach Handball players from around the world will converge on the French capital of Paris for the IHF Beach Handball Showcase, set to be held during the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games.

To highlight the sport of Beach Handball, with its athleticism and flair, sixty-four athletes from eighteen different countries were selected to be ambassadors for the sport on the global stage.

USA Team Handball is privileged to have three athletes selected to represent the United States: Andrew (Drew) Donlin, Christine Mansour, and Ebiye Udo-Udoma. 

Only 15 miles from the Eiffel Tower, the Beach Handball Showcase will take place at the Maison du Handball, which serves as the headquarters for the French Handball Federation. From July 27th to 29th, eight teams - four men’s and four women’s - consisting of the best Beach Handball players will compete, with six mixed nationality teams and two teams representing France.

Donlin, who also plays for the US Indoor Handball national team, began playing Beach Handball during the inaugural season of the USA’s Beach Handball national team in 2015-2016. In his over eight years in the sport, Donlin has become one of the world’s most prolific scorers, being Team USA’s leading scorer at the 2016 and 2018 IHF Beach Handball World Championships and the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games, as well as the overall Top Scorer at the 2018 Pan American Beach Handball Championship. Donlin’s sizable frame and powerful shot make him a premier pivot in the sport.

“I’m extremely honored and excited to be selected to get to compete with the best in the world in our sport and to get to represent not only our country but our sport as a whole in such a unique event,” Donlin said. “My hope is that we can demonstrate a great product, gain some more attention for the sport, and help propel beach handball into the Olympic program.”

Mansour, who discovered the sport in 2018, has become a leader on the sand for the Beach Women’s National Team. Playing Beach Handball in Europe is familiar to Mansour, as she played on the European Beach Handball Tour with KRAS Volendam, a team she helped create, which featured athletes from the United States and from The Netherlands.

Displaying her prowess on the offensive end of the court, Mansour was the Top Scorer at the 2022 IHF Beach Handball World Championship and the 2023 IHF Beach Handball Global Tour Event in Brazil.  Adding to the awards, she was named MVP of the 2019 NORCA World Championship Qualification Tournament, along with Best Pivot at the 2022 World Games on home soil, and rounding out 2022 with USA Team Handball's Beach Women's Athlete of the Year honor.

Mansour described her selection for the event in Paris as “nothing short of a dream come true” and “doesn’t feel real.”

“It is an incredible honor to be selected to represent the United States in the Paris 2024 Olympic Beach Handball Showcase event,” Mansour said. “I know everyone will be so proud to watch, compete, and support this exhibition match. It's something I never take lightly, representing our country, and especially on the largest stage, it is truly the biggest honor.”

"Representing our country, and especially on the largest stage, it is truly the biggest honor.”
Christine Mansour

Nicknamed the “Handball Ninja”, Udo-Udoma is one of the most recognizable Beach Handball players in the world, with his incredible athleticism and ability to defy gravity on display when he steps onto the sand. He is no stranger to the Olympics environment, as he demonstrated the sport of Handball to Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg on the set of NBC’s coverage of the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

USA Team Handball’s Beach Athlete of the Year in 2022, Udo-Udoma is known for his ability to put his teammates in the best position to put the ball in the back of the net. He was awarded the Most Valuable Player at the 2019 NORCA Beach Handball Championships and was the assists leader at the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games. 

“I know I speak for everyone involved with Beach Handball that having it be an exhibition sport in the Olympics is a culmination of the hard work that has been put in from every level of the game. We are really excited to continue the momentum and push the sport forward,” Mansour added. 

  • Christine Mansour

    Pivot, Wing

  • Drew Donlin

    Pivot, Defender

  • Ebiye Udo-Udoma

    Playmaker, Wing


More information from the International Handball Federation, including other selected athletes, can be found HERE